Georgije “Đura” Jakšić 

Portrait of Dura Jakšić

Georgije “Đura” Jakšić was a Serbian poet, painter and dramatist. He was born on 27th July 1832 in Srpska Crnja, Serbia and died on 16th November 1878 in Belgrade, Serbia aged 46.

Major Works

“Devojka u Plavom” (Girl in Blue) (1856)
“Seoba Srbalja” (The Migration of the Serbs) (1864) 
“Jelisaveta Kneginja Crnogorska” (Elizabeth the Montenegrin Queen)
Na Straži” (Night Watch) 
“Stanoje Glavaš” (1878) 

Biography Timeline

Georgije “Đura” Jakšić was born on 27th July 1832 in Srpska Crnja (Austrian Empire now modern Serbia). His father was a Serbian Orthodox priest. He had his early education in Timisoara (modern Romania) and Szeged (modern Hungary). He lived for a while in Grossbetschkerek (modern Zrenjanin, Romania) where studied painting under Konstantin Danil. He went on to study fine art at the University of Vienna, Austria and then in Munich, Germany.

1848: He is not able to finish his art education due to the events of the 1848 Year of Revolutions. As a fervent liberal he joins in with the struggle and is wounded in the fighting at Srbobran in Serbia. After hostilities cease he moves to Belgrade to work as a schoolteacher and also works for a printer but he is often unemployed giving him time to write. Much of his poetry is influenced by the Hungarian revolutionary poet Sandor Petofi and Lord Byron’s poetry about the Greek War of Independence. Poems of the period include “Na Liparu” (On the Lipar Hill), “Put u Gornjak” (The Road to Gornjak) and “Mila”. The last is dedicated to the girl he falls in love with who works at the White Cross Inn owned by his father but is too timid to speak to.

1856: Having sketched Mila often he paints his famous “Pa Devojka u Plavom” (Girl in Blue).

1858: He completes his self-portrait.

1862: He paints “Uprising of Montenegrins”.

1864: Chiefly known nowadays as a poet and artist he also wrote several plays including “The Migration of the Serbs”. 

1868: He writes the play “Elizabeth”.

1878: He writes the play “Stanoje Glavaš” about the Serbian hero of the first Serbian uprising (1804-13) and also paints a portrait “Ubistvo Karađorđa” (The Assassination of Karadorde Petrovic), another hero in the uprising against the Ottoman Empire.

1878: He completes the painting “The Uprising at Takovo”. Other notable paintings are “KosovoBattle of Montenegris” and “Night Watch” and amongst his poetry “Otadžbina” (Fatherland), “Veče” (Evening) and “Ponoć” (Midnight) stand out.

Georgije “Đura” Jakšić died on 16th November 1878 in Belgrade, Serbia after taking part in the Second Serbian-Ottoman War. He was buried in the Novo Groblje cemetery in Belgrade. His work “Pripovetke” (Storytelling) was published posthumously in 1882–1883 and again in 1912.

Further Information

“Ponoć” by Jakšić.

“Pesme” by Jakšić.